Posted by: Jerry Garrett | January 29, 2012

Where Was “One For The Money” Filmed? Hint: Not Trenton

Official trailer from “One For The Money” (Lionsgate)


Where was the movie “One For The Money” filmed?

If you knew anything about author Janet Evanovich‘s wildly successful series of Stephanie Plum mystery novels, they are all set in Trenton, New Jersey. It’s very much a part of the story’s charm (as charming as gritty Trenton can be).

But the movie was actually filmed in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. (Pittsburghers may recognize specific locations in Friendship-Bloomfield, the North Side, Braddock, Wilkinsburg, Shadyside, Mc­Kees Rocks, Ambridge in Beaver County and Kittanning, Armstrong County.)

Pittsburgh? Dear departed Uncle Sandor must be doing Buick-sized roostertails in his grave.

Why Pittsburgh?

Answer: Money.

Pittsburgh, AKA "Trenton, N.J."

“The Pittsburgh area has a very aggressive film commission,” says producer Gary Lucchesi, president of Lakeshore Entertainment, which finally brought “One For The Money” to the screen after 18 years of development hell. “We had a good experience here when we shot ‘The Mothman Prophecies’, so we were very comfortable coming back. I love Pittsburgh.”

A spokesman for the Pittsburgh Film Office said, “Since its inception in 1990, the PFO has assisted more than 105 feature films and television productions to southwestern Pennsylvania.”

He added, “These films have generated an economic impact of more than $578 million for the region.”

There is also the matter of the generous Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit.

Pittsburgh's "Stark Street" (Katherine Heigl)

Yes, money talks. And Trenton and Pittsburgh don’t look all that different (i.e., dull, unremarkable mid-20th Century American architecture, boarded-up buildings, polluted rivers).

But still…

Okay, readers, what’s harder to accept: Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum. Or Pittsburgh as Trenton?

Jerry Garrett

January 29, 2012


  1. You’ve never been here have you? (Pittsburgh that is)

    • I have. Several times. Most recently, I stayed at the William Penn. I enjoyed a Pirates game. Friends with Pittsburgh’s famed Chip Ganassi.

  2. harder to accept pittsburg as trenton -__- so upsetting

  3. As a resident of NJ and Pittsburgh comparing Trenton to Pittsburgh is pretty absurd. Wow.

  4. Absolutely no comparison between Trenton and the Burgh. Really?!

  5. I live in NJ and have been to and worked near Trenton and really the whole time watching the movie I was rolling my eyes at the depiction. Barely close.

  6. Pittsburgh today is most definitely not the Pittsburgh of the ’50’s (or 60’s or 70’s). It’s rivers are not just swimmable, but the fish from those rivers are eatable. The “Most Livable City” award still applies. The Trenton vs. Pittsburgh comment displays the writer’s ignorance of events that are hardly recent, or his age–which may be far older than he admits. “Polluted rivers” ?? Really??

  7. Oh–and BTW–the reason that Pittsburgh’s rivers are no longer polluted is because the steel industry left town years ago–another rather important piece of history that Mr. Garrett apparently is not aware of.

  8. Harder to accept Jason O’Mara, a blue-eyed Irish guy, as Morelli. Had the casting agents read the books?

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